With just six wins all season and lying in 19th and fighting for survival, Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren’s future has come under intense scrutiny.
The club remain unsure whether to replace him, but reports suggest the Magpies have already prepared a shortlist for the Newcastle managerial job, as they seek to avoid relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
Former Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez and former Manchester United manager David Moyes are being considered as potential successor for the managerial job.
09 March, 2016: Benitez top of the list
According to The Times, former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has emerged as Newcastle United’s first choice to replace McClaren.
Lee Charnley, the club’s managing director, and his team have made contact with the Spaniard, who has been out of work since his departure from Madrid in February, and enquired whether he would be interested in the role.
The Magpies have drawn up a list of alternatives – David Moyes, Nigel Pearson, Brendan Rodgers et al – but Benitez remains their first choice.
The question remains, can they convince him?
Benitez doesn’t have sufficient time to arrest the sharp decline. Newcastle have taken just eight points from their past 12 games, and it would take a major turn-around in fortune to escape relegation this year.
The Spaniard may want to know the club’s long term plans and whether Mike Ashley, the owner, would be ready to invest in the squad.
Benitez has rejected few clubs already since he left Real, as he wants to join a prestigious club that will give him a chance to compete in Europe again.
Newcastle are not looking to sack McClaren until they find a suitable replacement. The club are expected to approach Moyes, Pearson and Moyes all well, should they fail to reach an agreement with Benitez.
09 March, 2016: McClaren likely to be in charge for Leicester game
Sky Sports understands that there remains a chance that McClaren will still be in charge at the end of the campaign, should Newcastle fail to find a suitable replacement.
McAllen took training at 8am on Tuesday and he stayed behind with backroom staff for meetings before leaving the ground at 4pm.
07 March, 2016: Newcastle fans’ critical letter
Newcastle’s official fans’ forum has written an open letter after growing frustrated with the club’s dismal campaign.
“Someone has to be accountable and decisions must be made,” said the statement from the NUFC Fans’ Forum.
“What Newcastle fans want is a team of 11 players in black and white shirts that understand their role to perform to their maximum – week in, week out.
“We have entrusted the board of NUFC to ensure that the right personnel are in place to carry out this basic expectation.”
Newcastle United Stats (taken from BBC)
- Newcastle have only won six games this season – their joint worst number after 28 matches, only equalled by their relegation season in 2008-09;
- They have the second worst goal difference in the Premier League, only better than bottom club Aston Villa;
- The team have scored just 28 goals – the “worst figure in recent history” for this stage of the season;
- Newcastle have kept only one clean sheet since 6 December;
- The Magpies have the third worst disciplinary record in the Premier League.